Top Drawer London Stationery Likes

Top Drawer London Stationery Likes

Top Drawer London is the first trade show of the year, a place to go and find lots of new goodies to stock in your high street shops and online stores.  Held at London Olympia, it’s a great showcase for new products and new talents in the gift and design industries.  It leads to aching feet, and sensory overload at the end of the day but it’s great fun.  Here are a few companies that I liked…

Fox & Lark

A range of beautifully covered notebooks with 48 plain white pages just waiting to be filled with whimsy and daydreams.   The notebooks come in a range of colours and there are three books in each set.


Website:  Fox & Lark

Ruth Jackson

When I walked passed Ruth Jackson’s stand she was busy sharpening pencils – looks like a fun job – in preparation for turning the sharpenings into greeting cards.  They’re very cute and it’s quite a cool idea, a bit retro, a bit homemade and crafty, and something that will definitely make you smile.


Website:  Ruth Jackson

Meticulous Ink

We can’t resist a quality bit of writing paper here at Papernation, and Meticulous Ink, based in Bath, certainly comes up with the goods.  They were a bit busy with their laptop when I passed their stand so I didn’t get a sense of what the company is all about, but it all looks lovely.  They have a store in Bath, so you might want to drop in if you’re passing that way.


Website:  Meticulous Ink

Mac and Ninny Paper Co

Designed and printed in the UK, Mac and Ninny seem to care how their products are produced, ensuring that even the printer has some good eco credentials.  Their range of book plates are fantastic and jam labels divine.  They even make a book kit – for wrapping a book to give as a gift – almost too nice to give away.


Website:  Mac and Ninny

Hole in My Pocket

I’m not surprised to find that the owner of Hole in My Pocket is an architect.  The stand at Top Drawer was beautifully put together with everything displayed just in the right place.  I particularly love this nautical themed notebook, the perfect pressie for someone who really does loves life on the ocean waves.


Website:  Hole in My Pocket

 Ola Studio

Ola Studio has created some very grown up notebooks with timeless patterned covers.  I don’t think you could ever tire of looking at one of these if you were lucky enough to have one sitting on your desk.   The design and manufacture allows the book to lay flat – just perfect in every way.  I think these were my favourite things at the show!


Website:  Ola Studio

If you’re interested in registering for information about Top Drawer, they have a useful site here




GF Smith and Colorplan


I’m having another sort out of my stationery cupboard at home today which consists of three cartons and a shoe box crammed with stuff.  I’m obviously not focussed on work, as I wouldn’t be having a sort out if I were.  During my delvings I came across some old swatches of paper from GF Smith, which in turn led me to have a little browse on their website, which in turn took me to their Colorplan website, which is a lesson in how to use up an hour without really trying – it’s fun.

When Papernation had a store in Bristol we used to buy papers from GF Smith and they were a fabulous company to deal with.  They managed to make paper sexy and stylish and fun.  They win awards for their products and for their design skills and it’s certainly easy to see why.  Even their trade swatch books are highly sought after because they are so cool and all round lovely.

GF Smith make Colorplan paper.  It’s a range of papers that comes in 50 colours, in 8 different paper weights and can be embossed in 25 different finishes, and last year they launched a website devoted to Colorplan.

The website has all the color swatches on the  page which you can then drag and drop to different positions to see how colours work together.  If you’re a designer it’s a really useful tool, and great to just play with too.

Watch a short video of how the Colorplan website works

GF Smith is a lesson in how to get things right.  Their attention to detail is fantastic.  They even had a font designed especially for their new website, yep, you’ve guessed it, called Colorplan.  Their website tells you to pay particular attention to lowercase ‘g’, uppercase ‘M’ and the numerical character set.

I wish I still lived in London as they’re currently advertising a job at their offices in Southwark.  I’d be very tempted to apply.


Noodoll Artist Pocket Sketchbooks


I’m in the throes of planning a trip in my motorhome and I’ve been remembering some of my earlier travels, and in particular my visit to the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain, Dali’s home town.  It’s an amazing place, eccentric, surreal, all round awesome, and bone-crushingly busy.  If you’re ever close by you should pay a visit.  As if by coincidence too, I had an email from the lovely Noodoll, makers of cute stationery, and featured in the email was their range of artist pocket sketchbooks, and one of them has Dali on its front cover….



It’s a really cool sketchbook with 50 sheets of cartridge and coloured paper and it truly is pocket sized at just 11.5cm x 8cm.  Dali doubles as a bookmark too.  There are some of my other favourite artist in the range:

Andy Warhol



and Frida Kahlo



and Pablo Picasso



I see that Gilbert and George, David Hockney, Jackson Pollock and Yayoi Kusama are joining the range.  Just as soon as I have photos, I’ll add them to this post.

And here they are, hot off the press from Noodoll…



I didn’t know anything about Yayoi Kusama but her story is a fascinating one and you can read about her here.

The notebooks are designed by Clifford Richards (graphic artist), not to be confused with Cliff Richard (pop singer), and you can see more of his work at

You can buy the notebooks direct from Noodoll here at £4.50 each.

If you fancy visiting the Dali Museum you can find out all about it here.  It’s a great location, close to the French border and also not too far from Barcelona, so it’s an ideal day trip if you’re holidaying in the South of France or spending a bit of time sunning yourself on the Spanish coast.



Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so make sure you’re well prepared to tell the one you love you love them.  It might be to someone who doesn’t know how you feel, how exciting, or it might be the one you’ve been in love with for years and years.  Whichever way, 14th February is the one day you shouldn’t forget to say it.

Here are a few to start you off –






The Typecast Gallery



Roger la Borde at Paperfly


The Art File 





Bluebell 33









Dean Morris

I’ve spent the morning browsing the internet for romantic Valentine’s cards and they seem to be few and far between.  I’m showing my age, but sending someone a card that has ‘lad mag’ humour in bucket loads, I’m guessing, isn’t going to have the desired effect, even if the card says it will.


National Stationery Week

Oh Twitter and Tweet to your heart’s content but don’t forget to send a letter once in a while.  Keep it real, keep it personal and make someone’s day.

Papernation loves all things stationery – cards, letters, pens and pencils, and so we were very happy when Chris Leonard-Morgan created the Stationery Magazine and the London Stationery Show.  Not just happy to engage with people who already love stationery, he got out there to encourage everyone to get writing, by creating the National Stationery Day too, which has been so popular, it’s now a Stationery Week.  It’s aim is to get people to engage with stationery by taking the time to write a letter, or a card, as a thank you or just to say hello.


Chris very kindly agreed to be interviewed about all things stationery which we hope you enjoy.

What made you start the Stationery Show and its accompanying magazine?

The London Stationery Show was born out of the former Stationery & Office Products Show which was launched in 2008. We fairly quickly reached the view that a dedicated stationery show was the way to go, quite separate from office products, if we were to truly reflect this changing and dynamic market. The first standalone Stationery Show was in 2011.

We launched Stationery Magazine in 2009 when we realised how little coverage there was of stationery products in the trade press. The dedicated exhibition came later!

The Stationery Show is a must for all stationery buyers now.  Has the show developed as you expected?

The exhibition and magazine have taken longer to develop than expected. I thought they would be embraced much more quickly by suppliers than has been the case, although the buyers were  quicker off the mark . However, we always believed we would get there in the end and that is now happening.

The magazine is a great read and highlights everything new to the market.  How long does it take to put together each magazine?

The magazine is currently published four times a year, with three of the issues coming out before important exhibitions including the London Stationery Show in April. It is largely edited and produced in a concentrated three week period.

You established National Stationery Week and Get Britain Writing.  Did you realise immediately that it would catch the public imagination as it has?

I had the idea for National Stationery Day not long after launching the Stationery & Office Products Show, it was always just a question of waiting for the right moment which turned out to be last year, in 2012. It only ran once as we immediately turned it in to National Stationery Week as a result of the enthusiasm with which it was received! Although I had never done anything like this before, I couldn’t see how it wouldn’t work because of the unique sentiments stationery generates among consumers, especially now that it is such a fashion item too. It has definitely caught the public’s imagination, as well as retailers and our sponsors.

Why do you believe that hand written notes are so special?

Handwritten communication is important at a number of levels. Above all, it shows you care enough about someone to take the time to put pen to paper, or send a card. It’s a lot more personal, and it’s easier to keep and retrieve.

What’s your notepaper of choice when you write a letter?

I use writing paper and correspondence cards from The Stationery Box, which were given to me by my wife.

What items of stationery can’t you live without?

I would find life extremely difficult without highlighters and sticky notes, and well nigh impossible without pens, pencils and paper in some form!

What’s the most exciting product to come to market in 2013?

Now you’re asking! There really are too many to single out, but my Ferrari pen from Sheaffer always gets a comment, followed closely by the Parker Ingenuity last year.


What are your predictions for 2014?

2014 is going to be an exciting year for stationery. The London Stationery Show’s expansion into the main hall at the Business Design Centre is a significant development, and I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more interest in stationery and pens by the consumer media as a result of National Stationery Week, and the Get Britain  – and Kids – Writing campaigns.

National Stationery Week runs from 31 March – 6 April 2014.  Find out more about it here.

If you’re a stationery retailer then why not visit the London Stationery Show at the Business Design Centre, London 1 -2 April 2014.  Find out more about it here.

You can read the digital edition of the Stationery Magazine here.



All I Want for Christmas….


All I want for Christmas is, wait for it, a Leuchtturm pocket diary.  I’m fairly easy to please on Christmas morning, but like a lot of people, I’m quite fussy about what diary I have for the new year.


For the past couple of years I’ve had a Moleskine page a day pocket diary.  This is great if you want to keep a journal, as it gives you plenty of room to write what you’ve been up to and what’s on your mind.  I want something a bit smaller this year, so I’ve decided on  a week to view format, with the days of the week on one half and notes page on the other half, known as a weekly planner/notebook.

I used to be a Moleskine kind of girl but when Leuchtturm 1917 started selling their diaries in the UK I gave them a go.  I have to say that I think Leuchtturm is a better quality diary than Moleskine, having used both.  If you put a Moleskine diary and a Leuchtturm diary side by side they are really quite alike.  Use each one for a year and some subtle differences appear.  For me Leuchtturm wears better.  My diary goes most places with me and is stuffed into jacket pockets and tucked at the bottom of my bag, so it has to be tough.  With a Leuchtturm, the elastic closure band stays taught, with a Moleskine it’s gone a bit baggy by about April.  The paper is better quality with Leuchtturm.  I usually write in pencil in my diary and on the Moleskine even pencil shows through a little bit.


There is just one problem that I’ve noticed about liking Leuchtturm diaries more than Moleskine, and that’s getting hold of one on the high street.

Moleskine is everywhere.  Where once it was the preserve of a true stationery aficionado, who just knew a little place somewhere that stocked them, now you can take your pick on the high street.  Leuchtturm doesn’t seem to have achieved that just yet.  Although I don’t know if I want them to.  Maybe their paper will get just that bit thinner and their elastic just that bit baggier.  I’ll just have to get cracking and order one on the internet as the last posting day is just two days away.



Moomin for Kids


Who doesn’t love the Moomins?

Created by Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson in 1945, the Moomins have continued to delight children and adults around the world.  From the first, Moomins and the Great Flood, to Comet in Moominland, and the one I remember most from childhood, Finn Family Moomintroll.

The books will  make a wonderful Christmas gift for children, along with lots of other Moomin goodies.  Here are some of my favourites.

FT2014-57-Moomin Cover_Layout 1


Moomin Family Organiser 2014 –  £9.98.  With space to keep track of five family members’ appointments.

Something to carry sandwiches, elevenses and teatime treats –  Moomin Lunchbox – £7.95


Get the little ones off to bed without a fuss with their very own Moomin pillowcase – £11.90.

Plenty of room to write stories and lists in this Moomin Spiral Bound Notebook – £6.99MOBD

Somewhere for pocketmoney.  Moomin Coin Purse – £12.50

A Moomin Mobile Pouch for keeping things safe – £15.00moominpouch

Moomin Bookmark – £3.60moominbookmark

Guaranteed to annoy Grandma and Grandpa by the end of the day!  Moomin Harmonica – £6.95



I was always given a book for Christmas and I think it’s the best gift you can give to a child.

The first Moomin story The Moomins and the Great Flood – from £7.19



Comet in Moominland – £4.99



Finn Family Moomintroll – from £5.24



If you’re a Moomin fanatic then there’s always the Moomin Shop, 43 Covent Garden Market, London WC2E 8RF.


North Bristol Art Trail 2013


It’s that time of year again when you get to see some great art from local artists and get to have a quick peek in people’s living rooms at the same time, yes, it’s the North Bristol Art Trail 2013.  It runs over this weekend, 23/24 November.

There are more than 100 artists showing in over 50 different locations around north Bristol, from Antrim Road, BS9 down to York Road, BS6.  Looking at the interactive map on the Trail’s website, if you put your walking boots on, you could visit all the venues on foot over the two days of the event.

It’s a great way to explore the area as well as see works from up and coming artists as well as those who’ve done the trail for many years.

I’m hoping to get to visit a few venues.  I’ve got guests this weekend so I probably won’t get round them all.

Simon Tozer, of Gromberry fame will be exhibiting work at Chesterfield Road.  We bought a small print of a horse and five clouds from Simon a few years ago, which is hanging on our kitchen wall.


I’ve had a quick look at his website and I’m sure there will be something to tempt me again this year.

I shall also go and visit Mary Collett.  I love this print entitled ‘Tatty Fox’.


You can find out more about Mary Collett from her website.

The North Bristol Arts Trail has a very good website with information on all the artists and where you can find them.  There’s also a downloadable map.

The Trail opens from 10am til 6pm Saturday and Sunday.  I’ve checked out the weather forecast and there’s no rain so it should be a busy weekend.

For more information visit The North Bristol Art Trail website.



Mark’s Tokyo Edge Stationery

One of my favourite stationery companies is Mark’s Tokyo Edge so I thought I’d share some of their products with you.

graphia1 sttorage_it2

I love the range with its sleek notebook enclosed in a ziplock cover so you can store stuff in the cover.  The range of colours is awesome too.


The Paperie has a good range of Mark’s notebooks but they don’t seem to be stocking the diary range for 2014

Bureau Direct stock the 2014 diary.



I love the Mark’s Silicon Diary too.  I haven’t found a very good source for these online so if you see one on the high street I would grab it there and then.



Here’s some more lovely stuff –








You can visit the Mark’s Tokyo Edge website to see more of their stationery.




Huck & Pucker Notebooks


I came across a new kid on the stationery block today, Huck & Pucker, so thought I’d give them a mention as their notebooks look cool.  I like that they’ve gone for a hardback notebook with lined paper pages.  I like lined notebooks the best as they appeal to the neat and tidy person in me, that a plain page just doesn’t provide.

Whether you’re a Hipster or a Geek, a Genius or a Dreamer, Arty or Bookish, they’ve got a notebook for you to be proud of!







It’ll be interesting to see how the brand develops and what products they add, as they fit well with the hipster vibe of the moment.

Each notebook has a hard cover, elastic closure band, 192 lined pages made from acid free paper and is 130mm x 188mm.

You can buy online from Huck & Pucker for £7.99 plus £1.99 shipping.